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  1. Adrienne Smith
  2. President
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Cynosure Consulting LLC
  1. Rebecca Lowe
  2. Senior Consultant
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Cynosure Consulting LLC

STEM Sea, Air, and Land Remotely Operated Vehicle Design Challenges for Rural...

NSF Awards: 1812913

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

Over the past two and half years, the STEM SEALs expert team has successful crafted two highly engaging week-long summer experiences involving rural, middle school students digging into STEM through design challenges.  Yet, STEM SEALs was charged to do more than create high-quality STEM enrichment resources.  The work of STEM SEALs was nested within a larger research design focused on learning about enhancing rural STEM pathways and building an evidence base for emerging strategies and materials.  Throughout the project timeframe, the project leaders looked to optimize the student experience and connect with the larger community, during a time in history when fostering connections has become increasingly difficult.  In this presentation, we review findings related to the student impacts of the STEM SEALs experience, including outcomes such as computational thinking, and discuss evidence of how the STEM SEALs project is seeding regional transformation.

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Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (10 posts)
  • Icon for: Rebecca Lowe

    Rebecca Lowe

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Consultant
    May 10, 2022 | 12:06 p.m.

    We are excited to share our project work with you and are very interested in learning from the  wide array of STEM educators and researchers in this community about which of the areas of our project's emerging impacts is of the greatest interest to the community /which of the highlighted activities or impacts shared in the presentation do you feel is most warranting of further exploration and knowledge generation efforts?  

  • Icon for: Catherine McCulloch

    Catherine McCulloch

    Facilitator
    Senior Project Director
    May 10, 2022 | 12:14 p.m.

    Hello Rebecca, Adrienne, and team. Thank you for the video. Can you say more about the role of the community colleges in the success of your model?

  • Icon for: Rebecca Lowe

    Rebecca Lowe

    Co-Presenter
    Senior Consultant
    May 10, 2022 | 12:31 p.m.

    I am happy to jump in first and say that the local community college team is the driving force behind the work to develop the project curriculum materials providing the content expertise and facilities needed to develop and  implement the activities.  Importantly, from the outset the team recognized the essential insights and engagement that would be needed from the local education community to make this project a success and has annually invited a team of local educators to assist them in the design process through the creation and formal engagement of a design team comprised of local educators with expertise in middle school STEM education.

  • Icon for: Adrienne Smith

    Adrienne Smith

    Lead Presenter
    President
    May 10, 2022 | 04:05 p.m.

    I'd add that the community college is able to be very responsive to emerging opportunities to get people excited about STEM, whether that's learning about a middle school science night or a chance to speak at a community meeting.  Because rapport-building is a large part of the model, the faculty and staff are prioritizing relationships over any ask.  It's more of inviting people to learn alongside, to critique, guide, share, and partner together.  I think that's one of the main reasons they have been able to gain traction within a community where the pace of change is slower than other communities.

  • Icon for: Mike Szydlowski

    Mike Szydlowski

    Facilitator
    K-12 Science Coordinator
    May 11, 2022 | 09:41 p.m.

    This looks like a great program! Do you have plans to follow the students or classes that participate to learn of the longer term impacts of your work?  

  • Icon for: Adrienne Smith

    Adrienne Smith

    Lead Presenter
    President
    May 12, 2022 | 09:02 a.m.

    Yes - for as long as possible. We have contact information from students and parents and plan to annually reconnect to invite the former participants to our design competition day as well as ask a few questions. We have a new proposal under review and, if funded, hope to continue implementing and researching ways to continue to increase engagement and interest in STEM.

  • Icon for: David Campbell

    David Campbell

    Facilitator
    Program Officer, retired
    May 12, 2022 | 08:30 a.m.

    Designing ROVs sound like a great way to engage students in STEM.  I'm pleased to hear you're trying to involve parents.  It's not easy to get parents engaged with all of their other responsibilities.  Have you had much success in this area?

  • Icon for: Adrienne Smith

    Adrienne Smith

    Lead Presenter
    President
    May 12, 2022 | 09:05 a.m.

    We have had success, in part because parents are curious. We invited them to competition day and they were able to observe what the students have learned, the students' excitement, and interacted with NFC faculty and the campus facilities. We purposefully used a transition period to tour the manufacturing lab. The following year we've had many eligible students reapply and the overall interest has increased, likely due to word of mouth.

  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 12:14 p.m.

    This sounds like a great experience for Floridian middle schoolers! I am curious about the lab tours at the community college and the visit to the manufacturing plant. Did the students have a chance to learn about different careers associated with these field experiences? And, how did these visits connect to their STEM curriculum? 

  • Icon for: Adrienne Smith

    Adrienne Smith

    Lead Presenter
    President
    May 13, 2022 | 11:22 a.m.

    Hi Melissa -- A member of our project team heads the manufacturing lab. He was able to relate the STEM work happening in the camp with local employment options and with information on how the local community college prepares individuals for those jobs. Importantly, some of the materials used in the camp were made in the manufacturing lab. Our goal was for students to be able to see the STEM experience as very relevant for their rural community and to make visible the very viable, local pathways in place for them to continue pursuing STEM.

     
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    Melissa Rummel
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